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Salient alternatives facilitate implicatures

Bott, Lewis and Frisson, Steven 2022. Salient alternatives facilitate implicatures. PLoS ONE 17 (3) , e0265781. 10.1371/journal.pone.0265781

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Sentences can be enriched by considering what the speaker does not say but could have done, the alternative. We conducted two experiments to test whether the salience of the alternative contributes to how people derive implicatures. Participants responded true or false to underinformative categorical sentences that involved quantifiers. Target sentences were sometimes preceded by the alternative and sometimes by a control sentence. When the target was preceded by the alternative, response times to implicature responses were faster than when preceded by the control sentence. This suggests that (1) alternative salience influences higher-level reasoning (2) the cost of deriving implicatures in sentence verification paradigms is due in part to low alternative salience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 7 March 2022
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 13:22

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